Blog 16-02-24

I was never really happy with the paint finish on the Surly Ogre, particularly the wheel rims. The finish was not smooth and over time chain oil and general cycling dirt became ingrained into the paint and difficult to remove. Was starting to look really messy and just not good enough. So, time to start again from scratch.

First task was to strip the bike down completely, in the process discovering that the bottom bracket was totally knackered and the headset could have been better as well. Both were replaced with better quality components from Hope. The frame, forks and handlebars were taken to Pentland Powder Coatings for Henry Fords’ favourite colour, gloss black. Handed them in on the Tuesday morning and they were ready to collect on Thursday morning. Cost me £70.00, but saved so much hassle and time by not having to strip or rub everything down by hand.

Of course, that left the wheel rims and sadly you cannot get them sand-blasted and powder coated while still on the actual wheel. So, it was down to me to strip the paint and rub them down by hand. Best option was paint stripper a nasty, very messy and extremely time-consuming exercise. I did consider getting new rims but that would cost around £100.oo (including the wheel builds) compared to £10.00 for the paint stripper. Hated doing it but finally after many hours in the shed, had them ready for priming. That’s actually them above, hanging up in the shed to dry after priming.

Now, at this time of the year cold temperatures and spray painting outdoors do not mix very well, so I had to put my thinking cap on. The key was to keep the wheel rims and spray can paint warm. Did that by keeping the cans in the house over night to warm up and the wheels in the shed hanging above a heater for an hour just before starting. Then, when ready, a fast dash into the outside spray area, spray the paint and then straight back into the warm shed to allow the paint to dry. Seems to have worked okay.

One issue with powder coating bicycle handlebars is the increase in thickness caused by the paint making it difficult to get the brake levers and grips onto the bars. Managed it eventually with the help of some Fairy Liquid as a lubricant but may find some issues removing them in the future. I’m think I should have asked them to keep the paint thickness to a minimum, which I had intended to do, but forgot. Duh!

Once the wheels are painted and allowed to fully harden for a few days, I’ll be able to finish off the rebuild. I’ve also fitted a new set of Avid BB7 mechanical brakes, including new rotors and have ordered a complete original decal set for the Surly Ogre to finish off the project. Took the opportunity to renew the chain ring and chain as well, seemed daft not to with the bike stripped down. Oh, and new innertubes and sealant as well.

And finally, a tip for anyone spray painting wheels. If you are using masking tape to protect the spokes and hub don’t use whatever masking tape you have to hand, like I did, or leave it on for more than a day, it can be very difficult, tedious and time consuming to remove. Best quality very-low-tack masking tape is ideal and I’m thinking that using split paper straws might be even easier. Make the job as simple as possible. And this leaves one final question. Should I do the Harley Quinn next? Back soon.

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